As part of our brand new section AU Abroad, we bring you a birds eye view of the world of travel. In this article series, we let you in on the best airlines to fly with. We kick things off in North America with Air Canada’s direct route from Toronto to Los Angeles, which we took as part of our long journey home from Canadian Music Week last month.
Airline: Air Canada
Route: Toronto – Los Angeles, AC795
Seat: 21E (Middle seat, of a 3-3 configuration in Economy)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-2
Scheduled Flight Time: 5 Hr 25 Min
On Schedule? Yes.
Ticket Type: Economy, Booked on a United ticket through Expedia.
Mobile Check-In? No. Often you run into this problem when you are booking a co-share ticket. You can’t book a seat through United and you can’t book one through Air Canada. Unfortunately this led me to the middle seat.
Frequent Flyer Program: Part of the Star Alliance network. I have a membership with the Air New Zealand Frequent Flyer program, so this flight was eligible for points there. Their own program is called the Air Canada Altitude – which operates in partnership with their Aeroplan program.
Meal Service: Two cabin services with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks. Food in economy cabin for sale as well as alcohol. Both options are of course included in business.
In-Flight Entertainment: In seat TV’s with plug and USB power (Australian plugs work!) that operate “gate to gate”. Small but solid collection of the latest films and TV episodes. Though the headphone jack in my seat was broken! Decent screens, though picture quality seemed to depend on the film.
Comfort: Decent leg room and plenty of space under seats for bag and jacket. Plain seats, no movable headrest. Nothing special but does the trick for a 5 and a half hour journey. I’m glad it was a day flight though.
Customer Service: Incredibly polite and helpful – what less would you expect from Canadians! As mentioned, the headphone jack in my seat was broken, and though they offered to try and fix it (which would have just been annoying to the people around me), we left it as is for the flight. They provided me with a voucher for 5% of a future flight as an apology for the broken system. It’s the little things like that which keep a customer loyal – top marks!
Extra: It’s easy to forget that this is still considered an international flight, even though you’re in North America. Thankfully, they make things a bit easier by making you deal with US customs while still in Canada. Indeed, makes landing at LAX a dream, but meant you really didn’t want to be late… Took me about an hour from arrival to get into the boarding area.
Though I changed at LAX to a Virgin Australia flight, Air Canada do fly all the way to Australia. Head to http://www.aircanada.com/ for routes and to book tickets.